I stopped off in LA after Amsterdam, to recharge and to just be home for a bit. The garden is now bursting with tomatoes of various types, I’m happy to report, and you only need to wait a day or two in order to pick a variety pack such as the lovely one above. (Click for larger view.) I brought a bunch of them to Aspen with me, and continue to work through them, in cooking, sandwiches like the ones I’m just about to eat for lunch, and so forth.
I’ve had none of the rodent problems with the tomatoes this year, since I preemptively built a defense shield of fencing enclosures all around the areas where the plants were planted. The fencing goes all the way down to the ground, but has no top cover. I figured that while a determined rat could easily get into the enclosure and gorge itself on tomatoes, if it does not even get the chance to get close to them while randomly exploring, it might not ever develop the habit to go there, and so wouldn’t try digging or climbing. Seems to have worked, although of course other circumstances may be relevant too: (1) I’ve removed a lot of the vegetation that was serving as approach cover (although they were mostly coming at night last year so cover might not be relevant), and (2) I destroyed a major area of old border fencing that housed an ancient vine and a handy cavity, all of which I think was serving as hiding places for the critters. The rebuilt fence has no such hiding nooks and crannies, and definitely none of that horrible vine survives, for now.
I wish I could anticipate similar successes with the tree-rats (squirrels) and my fig trees. You’ll maybe recall the battles I’ve had with the Fluffy collective in previous years. I am anticipating a horrible season of disappointments due to squirrel destruction. There’s a lot of figs on the way and plenty of signs of the awful creatures preparing for the crop…